Finally, after months of shareholder pressure and less than impressive Yahoo! performance, Terry Semel, now ex-CEO of Yahoo!, relinquished the reigns of the struggling search and advertising company. The move sparked a reshuffle at the top of the Yahoo! executive ladder.
Original Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang has replaced Semel as Yahoo! CEO, with Sue Decker, former Executive Vice President and head of Yahoo!’s New Advertising and Publisher Group, being promoted to president.
Terry Semel will remain at Yahoo! as a non executive chairman, providing on-going strategic advice to the senior management team. According to the press release, it appears that Semel no longer has the passion to lead Yahoo! through these turbulent times:
“The Board and I have long talked about the importance of ensuring a smooth succession in Yahoo!’s senior leadership — and more recently, about the need for a leadership team committed to carrying Yahoo! through its multi-year transformation. As we discussed my future goals and plans, I was clear in telling the Board of my desire to take a step back sooner rather than later. I believe Jerry and Sue, with their superb talents and intense dedication to Yahoo! and its people, are the perfect combination to carry us forward.”
Jerry Yang has played a pivotal role at Yahoo! since he co-founded the company back in April 1995 with David Filo. During his 12 years with Yahoo!, he has been instrumental in building the company’s corporate culture, recruitment of key talent, building key business relationships, as well as strategic input on product, technology and market direction.
The new top executive team has their work cut out for them, if they are to bridge the divide that has emerged between Yahoo! and its primary competitor Google. Hopefully the visionaries at the helm will help Yahoo! regain direction and make in roads into the great future they have been promising shareholders for months.